KORONADAL CITY -- The insufficient power supply in Mindanao has taken its toll among small-scale mining industry players.

This after officials confirmed Friday that two mine workers died while two others are feared dead inside a tunnel operated by a small-scale miner in the gold-rich town of T'boli.

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Constancio A. Paye Jr., regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, said that based on initial investigation, the workers could have died from suffocation.

"There was a brownout in the area and the blower providing the tunnel with oxygen failed to work. The province has been experiencing power outages since recently," he said.

Two of the victims' bodies were retrieved late Thursday afternoon while recovery efforts for the two others resumed Friday morning.

Chief Inspector Marvin Duwa-duwa, T'boli police chief, identified the victims as brothers Toto and Gary Olin, who have been brought to a funeral parlor in the town.

A rescue team from foreign-backed Tribal Mining Corp. has been searching for Boy and Adel Olin, also the brothers of the two dead victims, inside the tunnel in sitio Tunnel in Barangay Kematu, the police official added.

Paye said the tunnel is located inside the 21-hectare minahang bayan or people's mining site, which was declared as such by the Provincial Government in the 1990s.

The minahang bayan area is inside the mines development of Tribal Mining, which is backed by Canadian firm Cadan Resources Corp.

Cadan Resources said this week, its T'boli gold-silver project is expected to be operational within the year, after years of exploration activities. (BSS)